Mishcon steers Marussia deal as it gears up to buy Virgin Racing owner

Mishcon de Reya has advised Russian supercar manufacturer Marussia Motors on its acquisition of a controlling interest in Manor Holdco, the parent company of the Formula 1 (F1) Virgin Racing team.

The deal represents the Russian company’s first foray into Western Europe and comes ahead of the inclusion of a Russian Grand Prix on the circuit for the first time in 2014.

The arrangement will see the team rebranded as Marussia Virgin Racing for the 2011 season.

Marussia acquired its stake from Lloyds TSB Development Capital, the bank’s private equity arm, which was advised by ­Eversheds private equity head Richard Moulton and solicitor Mark Saunders.

The Mishcon team was led by corporate partners Kevin McCarthy and Jonathan Berman. The team also included corporate ­assistants Laura Chandler and Victoria Theaker and banking assistant Eric Irvine. Commercial partner Martyn Hann advised on the related sponsorship arrangements.

Marussia’s investment ­signals the first time a Russian entity has invested in an F1 team as it looks to leverage its brand ahead of the Russian Grand Prix, which will be held in Moscow.

The firm is confident this will be the first of many mandates from the company as it looks to boost its profile in Europe.

McCarthy said: “The deal played to many of our strengths – we have an ­excellent record of delivering complex deals within tight time constraints, and this transaction certainly fell into that category. We also know our way around F1, which helped to focus our efforts in the time available.”

Virgin Racing was advised by Macfarlanes corporate partner Garrett Hayes and IP and commercial partner Rupert Casey, assisted by associate Chris James.